Speaking at Pusan's Asia-Pacific Film Policy Forum (Oct 4-5), Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) outlined its major initiatives for the future role of the territory in what it has dubbed the 'Asia Content Community'.

The presentation, by METI director general of Commerce and Information Policy Bureau Masahiro Yoshizaki, began with a recap of the Asia Content Initiative, launched this July. The tenets include developing films and other contents along with Asia's, and particularly China's, growing economies.

METI will work to research and create integration policies based on shared values across the continent and revise business practices unique to Japan to meet international standards

The change in attitude comes upon the largely unsuccessful measures to export Japan's contents as a product without understanding the nature of end users. 'It is not simply about export and delivery from the perspective of Japan, but that from Asian nations. We should not 'push' but 'pull demand' from Asia,' stated Yoshizaki.

Specific policies will further increase Asian co-productions, through initiatives such as J-Pitch, and enhance systems for protection of intellectual property rights.

Lowering of costs for second usage of contents and deregulation will be key. Development of new technologies such as virtual tourism and households will also be part of the roadmap.

Addtionally, deputy director Yasushi Nozawa revealed further details about the Japan Film Commission (JFC) to be formally launched in April 2009, first announced at last year's Tokyo International Film Festival.

Supported by METI, the JFC will act as the central organisation to unite the current 101 commissions that have opened across Japan in the past eight years. It will function as a one-stop service for prospective productions looking to shoot in Japan, offering assistance on which locations and local production companies best match a production's technical, geographical and language needs.

Information on which commissions offer non-tax incentives such as subsidised location scouting will also be centralised.